The 2012 Crown Oaks during the Melbourne Cup Carnival is now firmly on the radar for the David Hayes-trained Alzora who won the $120,000 Listed Ethereal Stakes (2000m) on Caulfield Cup Day this afternoon.
The daughter of Redoute’s Choice, a $115,000 purchase from the 2011 Magic Millions Gold Coast Yearling Sales, finally broke her maiden status at career start number nine but still looked very green doing so.
“She’s been very unlucky in a couple of maidens,” Hayes said after the Ethereal Stakes win.
Last time out she was eight lengths off them when 13th in the Group 2 Edward Manifold Stakes (1610m) at Flemington but Alzora relished the step back in class and step up in distance for the Ethereal Stakes 2012.
Ridden patiently by Nicholas Hall who had to correct her a number of times on the straight, Alzora was definitely green but she held on and got the job done to post first points and earn a shot at the $1 million Group 1 VRC Crown Oaks (2500m) at Flemington on Thursday November 8, 2012.
“We’re heading towards the Oaks so we’re very excited,” Hayes, who won the 2006 Crown Oaks with Miss Finland, said.
Ethereal Stakes runner-up Summerbliss also caught the eye, the Mick Kent-trained daughter of Danehill Dancer doing well to step up to the 2000m and race competitively having only debuted on October 3 with a mile win at Ballarat.
During the run the favourite Cameo pinged away brilliantly before settling third just off the early leader Kate while subsequent place-getter Transonic went forward to settle second.
On the home straight John Thompson’s Casino Prince filly Transonic, coming off an easy 2.5 length win at Mornington, moved forward while $21 roughie Alzora began her run going out wide, the eventual winner racing all over the place.
The wayward challenger however found the front and held on to beat home Summerbliss who had worked her way from worse than midfield to cross three-quarters of a length away second while Transonic held on to finish a further half-length away third.
It was a messy tempo but the winner Alzora outstayed Summerbliss, both displaying plenty of upside, but perhaps not displaying the same class as those other three-year-old fillies that are Crown Oaks 2012-bound after running in the Group 1 Thousand Guineas (1600m) on Wednesday.
“She was wandering a little bit,” jockey Hall said of Alzora.
“She was probably getting a little bit tired towards the end as I had to give her a long sustained run.
“But she really helps herself, she relaxes…that’s what you need in an Oaks filly.”
Still Alzora looked dour and is tipped to roll along nicely at Flemington getting up to the 2500m as she is improving each time she is given more distance to run.
“She’s bred to really stay and she showed that today,” Hayes said.
“She got to the front a long way from home ….she just had a look at the big crowd.”
Hayes said that if Alzora eats really well then they would go to the $250,000 Group 2 Wakeful Stakes (2000m) at Flemington on Victoria Derby Day, Saturday November 3, but if she was fit she’d go straight into the Oaks.
“That was an outstanding performance,” managing owner Rob Crabtree said today.
“David said she’d be there for the Oaks and he was right again.
“You’ve got to have faith I blokes like David Hayes.
“He’s a terrific bloke and a wonderful trainer.”
Before today Alzora was a $51 roughie in the Crown Oaks odds, a price that is sure to firm after her Caulfield Cup Day win.
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2012 Ethereal Stakes Results & Finishing Order
Caulfield Cup Day Race 4
|1||8||ALZORA||David Hayes||Nicholas Hall||–||7||55kg||$20|
|2||12||SUMMERBLISS||Michael Kent||Craig Williams||0.75L||6||55kg||$6|
|3||2||TRANSONIC||John P Thompson||Mark Zahra||1.25L||10||55kg||$9.50|
|4||4||IRELAND’S TEARDROP||Anthony Cummings||Vlad Duric||3L||5||55kg||$31|
|5||16||GONDOKORO (NZ)||Pat Carey||Rhys McLeod||4.25L||8||55kg||$31|
|6||3||CAMEO||Peter Snowden||Kerrin McEvoy||4.75L||2||55kg||$2.80F|
|7||10||MADAM ARCHER||Robbie Griffiths||Ryan Maloney||6L||3||55kg||$26|
|8||7||KATE (NZ)||Wayne Hillis||Glen Boss||6.3L||11||55kg||$11|
|9||13||TEN BLACK||Matthew Hyland||Michael Walker||6.5L||13||55kg||$18|
|10||15||ZAZPARELLA||Michael Moroney||Corey Brown||8L||1||55kg||$17|
|11||9||KEEP DE ROSE (NZ)||Danny O’Brien||James Winks||8.4L||14||55kg||$26|
|12||14||DI LUSSO||Mick Price||Craig Newitt||12.15L||12||55kg||$51|
|13||5||NEXTESS||Peter G Moody||Luke Nolen||15.15L||9||55kg||$16|
|14||6||OPERATION TWIST||Andrew Noblet||Ben Melham||17.65L||4||55kg||$21|
|–||1||DONNA CATTIVA (NZ)||Danny O’Brien||Nash Rawiller||–||0||–||–|
|–||11||ZUCCOTTO||Guy Walter||Hugh Bowman||–||0||–||–|